Collaborative Water Sharing Agreements

*Please Note: The Colorado Water Conservation Board will be using the term, "Collaborative Water Sharing Agreements" in place of "alternative transfer methods" moving forward to better reflect the broad set of of water-sharing tools and approaches that are currently used and may be used in the future

Collaborative Water sharing agreements include a variety of approaches such as option agreements and short-term leases to meet various water supply needs in ways that minimize permanent reductions in irrigated agriculture and associated socio-economic and ecological externalities. They can be used to meet a variety of water supply needs including drought recovery, environmental and recreational flow, groundwater sustainability, and compact compliance. 

The Colorado Water Conservation Board continues to provide both financial and technical support to encourage the development and implementation of collaborative water sharing agreements.

CWCB Releases ATM Status Report

CWCB, in partnership with WestWater Research, the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University, and J-U-B Engineers, recently completed a status assessment of progress made on alternative transfer methods, now referred to as Collaborative Water Sharing Agreements (CWSA). The status assessment report also provides a framework for the continuing development of CWSAs in Colorado to reduce the socio-economic and environmental impacts of more traditional water transfers and to support various Colorado Water Plan goals. 


Findings in the report indicate that a savings of at least 18,000 acre-feet of water through collaborative water sharing agreements since 2015, much work remains to be done. The report also finds that state investment in CWSA development continues to provide critical information on the agronomic and socio-economic impacts and benefits of CWSAs when compared with traditional transfers and has been effective in demonstrating several potential applications of ATMs such as assisting in meeting environmental and recreational flow needs and providing a tool for voluntary compact compliance.

More more information or with questions, contact Nora Flynn.

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